June 26, 2017 For immediate release
Media contact: Lori Cox c) 406-570-6807 e) lori.cox@gallatin.mt.gov


Partnership with MSU Library Creates a Special Exhibit

Bozeman, MT— The Montana State University Library will create an Ivan Doig archive exhibit at Big Sky Country State Fair. “Ivan Doig: Voices and Vistas” will be an interactive learning experience that encourages the exploration of the celebrated Montana author’s work. The Ivan Doig Exhibit is sponsored by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Jan Zauha, outreach librarian for the MSU Library, said the exhibit will highlight the intertwined nature of reading, writing, research and lived experience by using components of the Ivan Doig Archive, which is housed physically at the MSU Library’s Special Collections.
“We reached out to MSU about the Doig collection,” said Lori Cox, general manager of Big Sky Country State Fair. “This archive – Ivan’s works – it needs to be shared. We thought this could be something we start here, and potentially help get it on the road to other Montana towns in similar fashion.” Cox said she was delighted with the response from MSU, who jumped on board almost immediately to begin the creative process of bringing such an exhibit to the Fair. “The partnership has been heartwarming – and we are so excited to present this to our fairgoers.”
Mike Everts, MSU School of Architecture and Fair Board member, began logistical organization with the Library. His architecture students assisted in the concept while other students worked with library staff to build portions of the exhibit. Located in Exhibit 1, the set will have a sheepherder wagon feel with an old stove, pots and pans. Digital projection will give the scene a Montana sky, there will be archive computer access, desks signifying Doig’s writing spaces will be set and kids can try out old Olympia typewriters for a bit of “old fashioned typing on a typewriter,” even with carbon paper.
“The Doig Exhibit has inspired a new writing division in our Creative Arts Department,” said Paula Marquardt, creative lead of competitive exhibits. “We have two new classes: prose and poetry.
Submissions can be made through our website, 406StateFair.com, prior to Fair and will be judged by the Yellowstone Writing Project.” Marquardt added that “Tell us your Montana story,” modeled after Doig and his reflection of all things Montana, is the theme for both writing classes.
The Yellowstone Writing Project, housed in the MSU Department of English, will coordinate activities in Exhibit 1 for all ages throughout the Fair. Housed alongside the exhibit is Country Bookshelf, selling Doig’s books and other Montana-related titles. In addition, the Bozeman Public Library Bookmobile will be present in the Morrison Maierle Pardners Corral, just outside and west of Exhibit 1. They will have daily activities such as button making, building challenges and book check-out.
Doig, the son of a ranch foreman and sheep herder, was a third-generation Montanan born in White Sulphur Springs. His first memoir, “This House of Sky,” is a reminiscence about his childhood in Montana. Though Doig eventually left Montana, he continued to use the people and landscapes of Montana as the backdrop for many of his books.
Fairgoers can find the Ivan Doig Exhibit daily from Noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 19 through Saturday, July 22 and Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 23. Exhibit 1 is the southernmost building of the exhibit buildings and located just beside DockDogs during the Fair.
As the first major fair of the summer, Big Sky Country State Fair is held Monday, July 17 through Sunday, July 23 in Bozeman, MT at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. The Gallatin County 4-H Horse Show runs July 17-18, followed by 4-H livestock shows running July 19-20 and the 4-H Market Sale July 21. The Big Sky Western Bank Bronze Bonanza is held July 22-23. Gate admission begins Wednesday, July 19; gates open at Noon and close at Midnight except closing Sunday at 5 p.m. Early admission deals and carnival bundles can be found on 406StateFair.com.
Big Sky Country State Fair is presented by Montana Chevy Dealers.
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The Big Sky Country State Fair is managed by the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, under direction of Gallatin County. The first fair – called Inter-State Fair – was held in 1902 and morphed over the years to its function today. The Fair serves citizens of the Gallatin Valley and regional visitors from agricultural, urban, rural and tourist backgrounds.

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